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Gladiators Struggle To Overcome Mayhem in Week 26

Nearing the end of the season, the Los Angeles Gladiators face the only team they’ve yet to play in the North American region, the Florida Mayhem. This was a week for LA to rebound, but their efforts come up short against another well-oiled machine that left no room for mistakes.

Reviewing Week 26

Florida Mayhem: 14-6

Photo: Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment

Mirror on Tank was quickly scrapped, as Space returned to play on the flex tank position permanently. While the team did perform better as a result, overall, the Florida Mayhem were certainly no pushovers, and it showed from the very start.

Here is how the game went down:

Map 1 – Lijiang Tower

Round 1 was a round where the Glads made some costly mistakes early on, where lone wolves fell early to the Florida mob to make things more challenging for them. They fortunately got it together and once they did, there was no stopping them, even down 82%. What made the difference on this round was OGE playing as Wrecking Ball, knocking Mayhem players over the ledge. Another big factor was Mirror as Genji saving his Dragon Blade until the very end.

Round 2 was when we saw the unorthodox pairing of Junkrat and Symmetra for both teams. This was mostly a one-sided affair in favor of Florida. Mirror was able to help the Glads take the point back a couple of times, but they could not keep it for long.

Round 3. The garden portion of Lijiang is home to many a comeback, and today was no different. The Mayhem were just about to win thanks to the showings of Fate as Orisa and Gangnamjim as Lucio. OGE switches to Wrecking Ball again and it makes a difference to take back control of the point once more.

Map 2 – Havana
Kevster filled in for Mirror on this map. The Gladiators struggled on offense as they needed all the time available just to get to Point A. The Mayhem played aggressively right from the start, not being afraid to use ultimate abilities just to hold the purple and black team back. They are stopped right in the middle of the map inside the warehouse, where Gargoyle had a killer outing as Sigma.
On defense, the Gladiators were playing Fortnite free-for-all as the Mayhem were playing Overwatch. Florida played like a cohesive unit picking off the many stragglers in their way up to Point A. The Glads have 5 minutes to hold the payload for a few dozen meters. They’ve managed to stop Florida once as Birdring switches to Widowmaker. But, nope, can’t do it. Nice try, though. Florida’s strategic use of ultimate abilities propels them forward. Mayhem tie the game 1-1.
Map 3 – Numbani
This was a map where the Gladiators played well on defense, but did not have what it took to match it with their offense. The Mayhem played well despite the Gladiator’s effort on defense. Multiple times in which Space as Sigma uses Gravitic Flux, the Gladiators aren’t able to defeat the Mayhem and the Mayhem prevails instead. It’s not until outside of Point C where the Gladiators are able to stop Florida due to the respawn location nearby.
Like Havana, the Gladiators needed all the time available on offense just to take Point A. Big Goose was able to charge the team forward and capture the point with about 30 seconds to go. The Mayhem held up and when the Yaters made bad decisions, Florida capitalized. LA was only able to get the payload to before the final turn. Florida moves ahead 2-1.

Map 4 – Hanamura

This was a nail-biter of a map where the Glads fall just short of winning. Both teams brought the offense when needed, and while the Gladiators played well, they were stopped short of scoring their sixth point, which Florida secured easily. LA was once again racing the clock, as they took more time than Florida to score.

This was a winnable map for LA, but it just did not bounce in their favor. However, this was a map where I felt like they were more motivated as were running out of time. This strategy really isn’t ideal when you only have time to make one play before the round expires. Mayhem wins the map 6-5 and the game 3-1.

Player of the Match: BigGoose
This was another key game for BigGoose without playing his favorite hero, Lucio. He was stuck with playing Brigitte, but was a very big contributor to the team in nearly every map. His melee attacks were done accurately, he gave shields to the right teammates at the right times, and the team was able to win team fights when they were in need of Brigitte’s tactics.
This was a tough game for the Gladiators to overcome, but it was one of the longest matches of the week due to their efforts to stick around in the game. With better planning and organization this match could have had not only a shorter duration, but a different outcome.

Previewing Week 27

The “Countdown Cup” begins this weekend with LA facing off against the Toronto Defiant. The two teams faced one another on May 3rd, with the Gladiators prevailing 3-1.

Toronto Defiant: 8-12

Since their last match, the Defiant signed tank player Numlocked. Numlocked played for the Los Angeles Valiant in 2018 and recently joined Toronto from the Montreal Rebelllion contenders team to address their main tank issues. Toronto also added damage player Zykk to flesh out their DPS rotation. He previously played for the now-hiatus Contenders team Third Impact.

This should be another good match, and the Gladiators should be more than capable of winning this one. With only a few weeks before the end of the season, they really should leave no room for error here.

Prediction: Los Angeles Wins 3-2

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